A global economy, energized by technological change and unprecedented flows of people and money, collapses in the wake of a terrorist attack. The year is 1914.

Worldwide war results, exhausting the resources of the great powers and convincing many that the economic system itself is to blame.

From the ashes of the catastrophe, an intellectual and political struggle ignites between the powers of government and the forces of the marketplace, each determined to reinvent the world’s economic order.

The Battle of Ideas

As the 1980s begin and the Cold War grinds on, the existing world order appears firmly in place. Yet beneath the surface powerful currents are carving away at the economic foundations.

Western democracies still struggle with deficits and inflation, while communism hides the failure of its command economy behind a facade of military might. In Latin America populist dictators strive to thwart foreign economic exploitation, piling up debt and igniting hyperinflation in the process.

The Agony of Reform

With communism discredited, more and more nations harness their fortunes to the global free-market. China, Southeast Asia, India, Eastern Europe, and Latin America all compete to attract the developed world’s investment capital, and tariff barriers fall. In the United States Republican and Democratic administrations both embrace unfettered globalization over the objections of organized labor.

The New Rules of the Game